Nineteen Washington State marijuana stores face suspensions and fines after they failed to properly check identifications during a recent sting operation by the Liquor Control Board.
Cannabis shops in the state are subject to a 10-day suspension and a $2,500 fine the first time they’re caught selling to minors, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Those caught a second time will be suspended for 30 days, and a third offense results in the loss of the business’s license.
While the number of those caught seems high, 88% of stores properly checked IDs, the newspaper reported.
Selling to minors has tarnished the image of at least one of the businesses.
Sales at Evergreen Cannabis in Blaine, where the store owner said an employee allegedly made a mathematical error when calculating the informant’s age, have declined since the bust was revealed to the public, according to the newspaper.
The liquor board encourages employees to check IDs twice – one upon entry and again at the time of purchase – to be sure those buying cannabis are of legal age.
Employees who sell cannabis to minors face harsh penalties: five years confinement and up to $10,000 in fines.
The King County Prosecuting Attorney’s office hasn’t yet received documentations of the three cases in its jurisdiction, leaving the employees who violated the law anxiously awaiting news on whether they’ll be charged, according to the Post-Intelligencer.
A Pierce County prosecutor, however, said he believes it’s “very unlikely” criminal charges will be filed.